Saudi Arabia ‘leading the way’ in global response to space debris threat

More than 260 leaders, experts, and speakers from more than 50 countries took part in the Space Debris Conference, which concluded in Riyadh on Monday. (SPA)
More than 260 leaders, experts, and speakers from more than 50 countries took part in the Space Debris Conference, which concluded in Riyadh on Monday. (SPA)
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Updated 12 February 2024
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Saudi Arabia ‘leading the way’ in global response to space debris threat

Saudi Arabia ‘leading the way’ in global response to space debris threat
  • Innovative solutions urged as Riyadh forum addresses growing risks

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia is playing a key role in promoting international efforts to counter the growing threat posed by space debris, a global forum in Riyadh has been told.

More than 260 leaders, experts, and speakers from more than 50 countries took part in the Space Debris Conference, themed “Securing the Future of the Global Space Economy,” which concluded on Monday.

The conference and its activities highlight efforts by the Kingdom to understand the challenges and risks associated with space debris, and to adopt policies to protect the economic future of the space sector.

HIGHLIGHT

Participants emphasized the importance of finding technological solutions to the threat, and called for the protection of space for future generations. They stressed the need to address the debris challenge and develop an intergenerational charter leading to space sustainability.

Organized by the Saudi Space Agency in collaboration with the Communications, Space and Technology Commission, the International Telecommunication Union, and the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs, the conference included four discussion sessions and four keynote speeches addressing legislation and future trends in confronting the problem of space debris.

Participants emphasized the importance of finding technological solutions to the threat, and called for the protection of space for future generations. They stressed the need to address the debris challenge and develop an intergenerational charter leading to space sustainability.

A set of ideas for future solutions aimed at eliminating risks and securing Earth was presented, reflecting the Kingdom’s commitment to strengthening cooperation to achieve space sustainability and progress. This effort is focused on developing the space economy and stimulating space innovations to serve both the Kingdom and humanity as a whole.




More than 260 leaders, experts, and speakers from more than 50 countries took part in the Space Debris Conference, which concluded in Riyadh on Monday. (SPA)

The Kingdom, represented by the Saudi Space Agency, aims to strengthen its position among the leading countries in the field of space through this conference, the first of its kind in the region. It seeks to achieve this by conducting numerous scientific research and explorations to serve humanity. Through these endeavors, the Kingdom is working to affirm its commitment to protecting the planet and shaping new horizons in the space field.

The first keynote speech of the conference’s second day, titled “Mission to Remove Space Debris from Earth’s Orbit,” was delivered by Luc Piguet, CEO of ClearSpace, a company specializing in space debris removal.

He touched on efforts to remove space debris, which poses an increasing threat to Earth’s orbit and space systems, revealing that the first request for space debris removal was made to his company in 2019 by NASA, adding that the cost of removing a single piece can reach more than $100 million, and calling for global solutions and deepening international cooperation to confront this challenge.

Regarding “Space Debris Mitigation and Removal,” the session discussed efforts made by King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology, including developing satellite technologies and their remote sensing feature and making improvements on robots to ensure their future employment in space debris removal.

Session participants explained that the increase in space debris is directly linked to increased risks that may affect important terrestrial services such as the Internet and scientific research, in addition to their impact on the climate and the economy. Speakers called on countries and government to enact binding laws that hold operators responsible and obligate them to find solutions.

Marshall Kaplan, chief operating officer at Launchspace Services, highlighted the latest innovations and developments in the field of effective debris removal technologies that offer solutions to the problem according to many experts in the sector.

Kaplan suggested that the Saudi Space Agency lead a global initiative to launch brainstorming meetings with the world’s leading minds and innovative entrepreneurs to find new technologies to deal with the problem of space debris, given the Kingdom’s leadership in this important file.”

Kevin O’Connell, founder and CEO of Space Economy Rising, praised the Kingdom for taking the lead in seeking to unify global efforts to address the issue of space debris.

O’Connell said that international agreements, such as the Outer Space Treaty of 1967, seek to restrict the militarization of space and maximize its peaceful uses.

“We are now witnessing a great deal of investment activity around the world with the flourishing of the space sector, robotics and space technologies for the peaceful use of outer space,” he added.

On the opening day, the conference began its first session with a panel discussion titled “Beyond Borders, Beyond Debris: Space Agencies Unite for a Sustainable Space Future.”

The second panel, hosted by the UNOOSA and titled “Translating Policy into Progress,” shed light on the roles the office seeks to undertake, including the development of new technologies to contribute to mitigating the issue of space debris. Participants noted that space is equally accessible to all, making cooperation imperative for the benefit of all humanity.
The third panel discussion, titled “Role of Licensing Bodies,” explored the Kingdom’s role as a key player in addressing the challenge of space debris.

 


KSrelief chief and WHO’s Tedros meet in Geneva, sign agreements worth $20m

KSrelief chief and WHO’s Tedros meet in Geneva, sign agreements worth $20m
Updated 17 sec ago
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KSrelief chief and WHO’s Tedros meet in Geneva, sign agreements worth $20m

KSrelief chief and WHO’s Tedros meet in Geneva, sign agreements worth $20m
  • Al-Rabeeah also signed five executive programs with WHO for Yemen, Sudan, and Syria, with a total value of $19,496,000.

GENEVA: The chief of the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief) Dr. Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al-Rabeeah met with Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO) Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Saturday in Geneva.

The meeting was held on the sidelines of the 77th World Health Assembly currently being held in the Swiss city. 

Saudi Arabia’s permanent representative to the UN in Geneva Abdulmohsen bin Khothaila also attended the meeting.

During the meeting, the two sides discussed issues of common interest related to joint relief and humanitarian projects in the health sector, as well as the mechanisms for delivering medical assistance to patients and the injured worldwide.

Tedros praised the medical projects and programs carried out by the Kingdom, through KSrelief, to improve the health situation of those in need in various countries.

Also on Saturday, Al-Rabeeah signed five executive programs with WHO for Yemen, Sudan, and Syria, with a total value of $19,496,000.

The first agreement aims to address the severe shortage of kidney dialysis supplies in Sudan to reduce mortality among kidney failure patients across various Sudanese states by providing dialysis supplies sufficient for some 235,000 dialysis sessions, securing 100 dialysis machines, and paying the salaries of medical staff in 77 dialysis centers, with a value of $5 million.

The second agreement entails providing medical assistance to earthquake victims in Syria, with a total cost of $4,746,000.

The third agreement focuses on combating the spread of measles among children under five in Yemen, with a total cost of $3 million.

The fourth agreement aims to improve water and sanitation services in healthcare facilities, ensuring sustainable water supplies to serve the neediest populations in Yemen, valued at $3,750,000. The agreement includes drilling solar-powered wells in 10 healthcare facilities.

The fifth agreement aims to reduce the spread of cholera across Yemen, with a value of $3 million.


First group of Moroccan pilgrims arrive in Saudi Arabia through Makkah Route Initiative

First group of Moroccan pilgrims arrive in Saudi Arabia through Makkah Route Initiative
Updated 55 min 54 sec ago
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First group of Moroccan pilgrims arrive in Saudi Arabia through Makkah Route Initiative

First group of Moroccan pilgrims arrive in Saudi Arabia through Makkah Route Initiative
  • The Saudi leadership has prioritized caring for the pilgrims and creating an atmosphere of faith during their Hajj journey

RIYADH: The first group of Hajj pilgrims from Morocco arrived at the Prince Mohammed bin Abdulaziz International Airport in Madinah on Saturday, having departed from Mohammed V International Airport in Casablanca.

The pilgrims have traveled to the Kingdom through the Makkah Route Initiative.

The initiative aims to make the journey for pilgrims to complete Hajj as easy as possible, through electronic registration in their country of origin, including those related to immigration, health, luggage, travel, and housing in Makkah and Madinah.

They are transported by buses on designated routes, with service agencies delivering their luggage to their places of stay, Saudi Press Agency reported.

The MRI is part of the Ministry of Interior’s Pilgrim Experience Program (PEP), a pillar of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.

Now in its sixth year, the initiative is carried out in cooperation with a host public and semi-government authorities, including the ministries of foreign affairs, health, Hajj and Umrah, media, civil aviation, the Zakat, Tax and Customs authority, SDAIA and PEP.

The Saudi leadership has prioritized caring for the pilgrims and creating an atmosphere of faith during their Hajj journey.

Pilgrims who have been arriving in recent days have expressed their “gratitude to the Kingdom’s government for the services and facilities that have been provided, making their pilgrimage safe and reassuring,” Saudi Press Agency said.


King Salman, Crown Prince congratulate King Abdullah II on Jordan’s national day

King Salman, Crown Prince congratulate King Abdullah II on Jordan’s national day
Updated 25 May 2024
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King Salman, Crown Prince congratulate King Abdullah II on Jordan’s national day

King Salman, Crown Prince congratulate King Abdullah II on Jordan’s national day

RIYADH: King Salman sent a cable of congratulations to King Abdullah II of Jordan on the occasion of his country's independence day on Saturday, Saudi Press Agency reported.

King Salman wished King Abdullah continued good health and happiness, and the government and people of Jordan further progress and prosperity.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman also sent a similar cable to the Jordanian king.

The messages from the Saudi leadership were among dozens sent by global leaders and heads of international organizations, including the speaker of the Arab Parliament.

Adel bin Abdulrahman Al-Asoumi wished Jordan and its people “more security, stability, and prosperity.”

He also praised the “civilizational achievements made by the kingdom under the leadership of King Abdullah II in all areas that have made the kingdom a leading regional and international model.”  


Saudi, Kosovo officials discuss parliamentary ties

Saudi, Kosovo officials discuss parliamentary ties
Updated 25 May 2024
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Saudi, Kosovo officials discuss parliamentary ties

Saudi, Kosovo officials discuss parliamentary ties

RIYADH: The Saudi-Kosovo Parliamentary Friendship Committee, led by Khalid Al-Bawardi, the committee’s chairman and Saudi Shoura Council member, met with Kosovo’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Kreshnik Ahmeti and other officials in Pristina.

Discussions aimed to boost bilateral relations and parliamentary cooperation between the Shoura Council and Kosovo Parliament, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Saturday.

Faisal Hifzi, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Albania and non-resident ambassador to Kosovo, Montenegro, and North Macedonia, attended the meeting.

Additionally, the committee met with Podujeva’s Mayor Shpejtim Bulliqi and discussed cooperation in municipal affairs. The mayor praised Saudi Arabia’s environmental conservation efforts.

The Shoura Council delegation also engaged with local companies, reviewing Kosovo’s future projects and discussing opportunities for economic cooperation.


Saudi authorities arrest 17,030 illegals in one week

Saudi authorities arrest 17,030 illegals in one week
Updated 25 May 2024
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Saudi authorities arrest 17,030 illegals in one week

Saudi authorities arrest 17,030 illegals in one week

RIYADH: Saudi authorities arrested 17,030 people in one week for breaching residency, work and border security regulations, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Saturday.

According to an official report, a total of 10,662 people were arrested for violations of residency laws, while 4,147 were held over illegal border crossing attempts, and a further 2,221 for labor-related issues.

The report showed that among the 1,119 people arrested for trying to enter the Kingdom illegally, 71 percent were Ethiopian, 27 percent Yemeni, and 2 percent were of other nationalities.

A further 65 people were caught trying to cross into neighboring countries, and 17 were held for involvement in transporting and harboring violators.

The Saudi Ministry of Interior said that anyone found to be facilitating illegal entry to the Kingdom, including providing transportation and shelter, could face imprisonment for a maximum of 15 years, a fine of up to SR1 million ($260,000), as well as confiscation of vehicles and property.

Suspected violations can be reported on the toll-free number 911 in the Makkah and Riyadh regions, and 999 or 996 in other regions of the Kingdom.